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Edge Retail co-founder and event organiser David Brown
Edge Retail co-founder and event organiser David Brown

Australian and US jewellers to share expertise

Up to 300 US jewellery retailers are expected to descend on Australia for a new conference that will give Australian and American jewellers the opportunity to learn each other’s business tips.
The Edge Downunder Conference will focus on profits, management and marketing for jewellery retailers, and has lined up a host of industry experts to speak at the event.
The conference, taking place on Queensland’s Gold Coast from January 11 to 14, 2011, is organised by Retail Edge Consultants and its US operation, Edge Retail Academy which specialise in improving the performance of retailers.
Edge Downunder was a response to Retail Edge research which indicated that Australian and American retailers operate very differently to one another, outperforming each other in different areas.
Australian jewellers are 97.3 per cent more successful than their American counterparts, Retail Edge research has found. This figure is based on gross margin return on investment over a 12-month period. 
For every $100 spent on stock, the average Australian jeweller achieves a return of approximately $140 in 12 months. Americans achieve just $70.
Brown explained: “This means they’re not moving stock as quickly as Australians, and their profit margins are not high enough.”
Edge Retail co-founder David Brown said part of the conference would also be dedicated to solving many of the problems encountered in the Australian jewellery industry.
“The dropping bead market, and how to expand sales of diamonds and coloured gemstones will be among the key areas of focus,” he said.
Brown said that American jewellers can teach their Australian counterparts a thing or two as well. 
“When it comes to selling diamonds and coloured gems, there’s no doubt the average American jeweller is way ahead of Australians,” he revealed.
Retail Edge data shows diamonds and coloured gems make up 53 per cent of the average American’s sales, while Australians can only manage around 26 per cent.
“American Jewellers are on average more professional when it comes to selling precious gemstones. They recruit and continuously train top salespeople – many of whom have completed gemmology courses through the GIA,” he said.
To address this issue, gemmology expert Janice Mack Talcott – who has left her role as Global Trainer at Hearts on Fire diamond company to join Retail Edge – will speak at the conference about building a business around diamonds and coloured stone sales. 
Retail Edge’s data is gathered from hundreds of jewellery retailers from around Australia, New Zealand and the US.
The conference will be held over four days at Jupiters on the Gold Coast, featuring a host of activities and international speakers.
Keynote speaker Matthew G Stuller is founder, chief executive officer and global strategist of Stuller Inc – North America’s largest jewellery manufacturer and distributor.
More information can be found at the Edge Down Under website:

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